DESA News Vol. 12, No. 07 July 2008

Technical cooperation

Improvement of statistical systems in South Asia

A DESA workshop for heads of statistical offices will be held in Colombo on 21 July with a view to improving development measures

Recognizing the importance of high quality data to social and economic policy-making, DESA’s Statistics Division has recently launched a project in South Asia to improve official statistics. The initiative kicks off with a workshop on the organization of national statistical systems and user-producer relations, to be held in Colombo from 21 to 24 July.

Leading statisticians from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – the countries that are expected to benefit most directly from DESA expertise – will explore the main challenges facing national statistical offices while working with the event organizers to shape eventual solutions. The meeting has been arranged in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Department of Census and Statistics.

The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of national statistical systems in South Asia to better meet their statistical needs and improve the production of benchmark statistics for national development planning and monitoring. Inter-regional cooperation is a central theme with the establishment of a platform for communication and data exchange a central goal. It is expected that this DESA initiative will expand access to freely accessible websites while providing policy-makers and the public-at-large with increasingly reliable measures of development.

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Dominican Republic to prepare water accounts

The DESA Statistics Division, with the support of the Government of the Dominican Republic, the National Water Commission of Mexico, and ECLAC will conduct a workshop on water accounting in Santo Domingo from 14 to 18. The workshop will bring together experts from the Department of Environment, Central Bank, National Statistics Office and other stakeholders in order to prepare water accounts for the Dominican Republic.

Participants will focus on the implementation on the standard tables from the system for environmental-economic accounting for water, the relevant international statistical standard. Particular attention will be paid to the physical supply and use tables, hybrid account and asset account of the SEEAW. The SEEAW is a conceptual framework for the organization of physical and economic information related to water using concepts, definitions and classifications consistent to those of the System of National Accounts.

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